• World - Africa
  • Updated: February 06, 2023

Cameroon: Tycoon Detained Over Journalist's Death

Cameroon: Tycoon Detained Over Journalist's Death

Mourners are seen placing flowers outside the house where a portrait of journalist Martinez Zogo has been placed to pay tribute to him, in the Elig Essono district in Yaounde.

A Cameroonian tycoon was detained on Monday for the high-profile kidnapping and murder of a journalist, according to his company and a representative of the communications ministry.

Martinez Zogo, the journalist who was kidnapped and brutally murdered last month, was a vocal critic of graft and financial sleaze and had frequently faced threats as a result of his work.

The owner of the L'Anecdote media group, Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga, was "arrested... at dawn," according to the company.

The tycoon was a "suspect in the killing of Martinez Zogo," according to Denis Omgba Bomba, head of the National Media Observatory, a unit attached to the communications ministry.

Zogo, 50, was the manager of the privately owned radio station Amplitude FM and the host of the daily Embouteillage show (Traffic Jam).

One of his targets was Amougou Belinga. The tycoon, who is said to be a friend of several ministers, owns companies in banking, finance, insurance, and real estate, as well as L'Anecdote, which owns a daily newspaper of the same name and several pro-government TV and radio stations.

Zogo was kidnapped on January 17 outside a police station in the Yaounde suburbs, and his heavily mutilated body was discovered five days later.

He had told listeners about the threats he faced just days before he was killed.

Amougou Belinga's arrest came after several people were detained in the case last week.

The murder sparked outrage, including a protest by 20 Cameroonian leaders against the government's "long tradition of trivializing impunity and accepting atrocities".

President Paul Biya, who has ruled Cameroon with an iron fist for more than 40 years, has demanded a thorough investigation into the murder.

The government has insisted Cameroon is "a state of law, where liberty is guaranteed, including the freedom of the press".

Cameroon is ranked 118th out of 180 countries in RSF's Press Freedom Index.

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
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